Hong Kong-based jockey Zac Purton will be returning to Sydney racing for the time since 2008 at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow and the leading hoop said that he is excited to partner Sacred Falls in the 2014 George Ryder Stakes.
Purton has not ridden in Sydney since he took out the 2008 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on Theseo and he has the chance to add another Group 1 victory to his resume this weekend.
Sacred Falls returned to the races with a strong fourth behind Appearance in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on March 15 and Purton is confident that the son of O’Reilly will produce another strong run in the George Ryder Stakes this weekend.
“He ran really, really well,” Purton said.
“Obviously, he was going to be in need of that run, but I thought he did a good job.
“He was back on the inside there and finished off really, really well and wasn’t too far behind Appearance and finished next to Not Listenin’tome.
“I thought that run was full of merit, he seems to come good this time of year and he likes the wet track.
“That is an added bonus for him and I am sure that Chris has got him going well.”
Purton has stamped himself as one of the best jockeys in the world since leaving Australia and is currently on top of the 2013/2014 Hong Kong Jockeys Premiership table, but faces stiff competition from Brazilian superstar Joao Moreira.
Moreira is only four wins behind Purton and the Australian hoop believes that he may need some help from the Hong Kong stewards in order to hold on to his lead.
“Unfortunately the odds are sort of stacked against me a little bit,” Purton said.
“Not being able to ride as light as he can restricts the quality rides I can get and he seems to be getting a bit more support than I am getting at the moment.
“He has been suspended a few times and he only has to get suspended a few more times for me to have a chance.
“I am still in front and still going well, but there is still a long way to go and I need to dig deep.
“He does let his horses roll around a little bit and I’m hoping that the stewards see that and give him another couple of holidays.”
Sacred Falls has been well-backed in 2014 George Ryder Stakes betting markets and is now available at odds of $7 to give Purton a Group 1 winning return.